Over 300 Overdosed and Died in One Ohio County
Due to the ever-increasing strength of heroin, accompanied by the endless flow of Fentanyl and other synthetic opiates into the country, more and more people addicted to opiates die every day and almost every hour. This are getting worse, not better. It’s good to hear when communities show a drop in their overdose rate but unfortunately, this is not the norm for the rest of the United States.
One county in Ohio has found itself right in the crosshairs of the opiate epidemic. According to the Daily Mail, Montgomery County in Ohio has been dubbed the “overdose capitol of the United States.” Between January and May of 2017, there were 365 opiate-related deaths, a huge jump over last year’s numbers. In 2016, there was a yearly total of 371 deaths caused by opiates, which means this year’s outlook is very, very grim. According to Montgomery County Sheriff, Phil Plummer, Ohio state officials are predicting an estimated 800 addicted people will die this year from complications caused by opiate addiction. This surge in deaths will cause Ohio to be considered number 1 in opiate deaths in the nation.
“I’m looking at 2,900 autopsies, 2,000 of them overdoses.”
—County Coroner, Kent Harshbarger
The Sheriff reported that deputies respond to multiple overdose situations every day. County Coroner, Kent Harshbarger, reported around 60-70% of the bodies who come through his office are those who have overdosed and died because of using opiates. It has also been reported the county is running out of room to store all the bodies. The Coroner had to expand the cooler because the space to store bodies was not adequate. Dr. Harshbarger said “If this pace continues, I’m not really sure what we’re going to do. It’s full every night.” The Coroner’s office has considered renting space at local funeral homes to store all the deceased victims. “I’m looking at 2,900 autopsies, 2,000 of them overdoses,” said the Coroner. An Ohio crime lab will be testing all the drugs found on overdosed individuals and seized from drug busts and is focusing exclusively on heroin, Fentanyl and Carfentanil.
This situation is nothing short of an epic problem that isn’t showing any indication of slowing down or getting better. In fact, the situation in Ohio appears to be getting much, much worse. Drug addiction treatment is needed now more than ever. Helping each person through treatment seems to be the only method of handling this epidemic.
No one is immune to opiate addiction and nowadays, it can happen to just about anyone. If someone you know or love is struggling to get off opiates or is in denial they have problem, get them help before it’s too late. We’re in the middle of a huge, destructive storm and we need to “batten down the hatches” and use all the resources available to us to protect the ones we care about most.